Today I had a growth moment. I was driving to the farmers market over at Ballard, and suddenly the lightbulb in my head turned on. With this post, I intend to be vulnerable and open my feelings to people who might feel the same as I do. I hope you find it useful!

For the last month or so, I had been interacting with someone much younger than me. This person shared her view of a better world with me. Hearing these things made me feel inspired and realize how jaded and cynical I’ve become over time. Kind of like ‘Benjamin’, the donkey in Orwell’s Animal Farm.

I have an explanation for this: a combination of decades of experience interacting with corporations, watching political moves, impunity, injustice, inaction, and waste. I grew tired of seeing the human world flawed as it is. I grew tired of feeling powerless and adopted a vicarious attitude. I joined forces with the enemy.

Now back to the pandemic. From my observations, I have reasons (which I won’t enumerate) to believe that the numbers reported to us by the official media are padded upward. I think that the pandemic is following someone’s agenda. By my understanding of human behavior, I can see the framing effect in the works. Because of all of this, shamefully, I haven’t taken it seriously. I have been following the guidelines of wearing a facemask more for compliance than fear or social responsibility. I follow the standard hygiene procedures and comply with the bare minimum. I fooled myself into thinking that I don’t interact with people in the risk group; thus, I can still go my way and meet up in large groups. Completely oblivious of the possibility of doing asymptomatic transmission to the broader community with which I interact in public spaces.

Not for a second, I stopped to think about what’s wrong with this approach, partly because I’m a little arrogant, partly because I’m alone and away from my family. I needed others’ company to keep my sanity.

All of this was the state of affairs until today. This week I was faced with the question, “what am I doing to make the world a better place?” I produced a long time ago a vanilla answer to this:

Be the change you want to see in the world.

So the revelation was: Am I the change I want to see in the world? I don’t like people cheating, wasting resources, contaminating, doing as they please without considering the social costs. Why do I behave that way too?

So finally, I got it. It doesn’t matter if the numbers are padded; if the pandemic is following someone’s agenda; if I can get away with what I want by following the bare minimum. That’s not the point. The point is that I’m not doing my part to make the world a better place according to my own definition. 

So after this growth moment, I think I’m going to start complying more with social rules. I probably will not stop thinking that some are stupid rules, but now I will try to be the change I want to see. Thanks for reading!